A new survey among likely voters in Minnesota finds broad and deep support for medical aid in dying. In principle, Minnesotans believe medical aid in dying should be a legal option for terminally ill individuals by a margin of 53 points, 73 percent – 20 percent, including 55 percent who strongly believe so.1
A similar share of the electorate – 73 percent (49 percent strongly) – supports legislation that would make that option available for people who are over the age of 18, terminally ill and deemed mentally capable by medical experts.
Figure 1: Support for Medical Aid in Dying Legislation by Subgroup
As you may know, the Minnesota legislature recently considered legislation related to how to treat people with terminal illnesses. This legislation will allow people with less than six months to live to request medication form their doctor that they decide to take to shorten the dying process. People would have to meet certain criteria, including being a Minnesota resident, having a terminal illness with less than six months to live, be age 18 or over and be mentally capable. Do you support or oppose this legislation that would authorize medical aid in dying?
1 Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research conducted a survey of 509 likely 2016 general election voters in Minnesota from August 29 – September 1, 2016. The survey had a margin of error of +/- 4.3 percent.
The breadth of the support for this legislation is striking. There is bi-partisan support for this legislation and support across generations, geography and religious faiths.
Finally, the survey also found that 61 percent of voters would be more likely to support a candidate who supports legislation providing a legal option for medical aid in dying while just 21 percent would oppose a candidate who does. Much like support for a legal option itself, support for candidates with this position extends across demographic, religious and partisan lines.
Figure 2: Support or Opposition for a Candidate who Supports Medical Aid in Dying
And thinking about the election in November, would you be more or less likely to support a candidate for the Minnesota legislature who supports legislation that will allow people with less than six months to live to request medical aid in dying from their personal doctor?
Other Key Findings
- Support for medical aid in dying stretches across partisanship. Legislation making the option available earns the support of 87 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of independents and 53 percent of Republicans.
- Majority support for medical aid in dying exists in each region of the state. A legal option for medical aid in dying earns 74 percent support in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area and 72 percent support in Greater Minnesota.
- Candidates who support the medical aid in dying legislation can win over independents by running on this issue; 61 percent of independents say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports medical aid in dying legislation.
- A majority of Minnesota Catholics (71 percent) support medical aid in dying, despite opposition from the Catholic Church and other allied organizations.
- A majority of people who have cared for terminally ill individuals (70 percent) and of people who have someone in their household who has a disability (77 percent) support medical aid in dying.